Magazine article The Spectator

True Courage

Magazine article The Spectator

True Courage

Article excerpt

I keep writing about how London has gone downhill, yet the moment I'm there I have the time of my life. Starting with a wonderful party at Annabel's given by Jason and Amos Courage and Bassa Aspinall to celebrate their mother Sally's 60th birthday. My, my, how time flies.

Lady Sarah Curzon was the great beauty who married the dashing Piers Courage, last of the gentleman racers and then some, back in the Sixties. After two memorable second-place finishes in Monaco and the US Grand Prix in 1969, Piers turned down an offer from Ferrari for the 1970 season to stay loyal to Frank Williams. He died tragically in the Dutch Grand Prix aged 28. Widowed with two very young boys, Sally married my great friend John Aspinall two years later, and had yet another son, Bassa. Widowed yet again in 2000, Sally has never once complained - even when her beloved son Jason suffered horrific motorcycle injuries - greeting one always with a smile and a good word, her sweet nature being so typical of well-brought-up people of her generation.

Needless to say, I enjoyed myself at the blast and for once refused to think of the past, mainly because I was among very young people. The John Aspinall-Jimmy Goldsmith crowd is mostly gone, replaced by their children, which suits me just fine. (Although I hate to think how they regard some of my drunken antics, especially while gambling following the party.) The younger Aspinall-Goldsmith set is less wild, more responsible, certainly better mannered. None of them would dream of bringing a large tiger into a room full of gamblers, as Aspers did back in 1970, or throw a large salmon at an unpleasant, whingeing punter as Jimmy did at the Clermont. (I was present on both occasions and they were equally hilarious.) No, Zac and Ben Goldsmith work hard, don't drink or do dope, and are serious ecologists who are doing something about saving the planet. Bassa and Amos are busy saving wild animals, which is a hell of a lot better than trying to screw one's fellow man in pursuit of you-know-what. It may sound corny, but they're all top kids and I had a very good time hanging out with them for three nights in good old London.

Just before the party at Annabel's, and fresh off the plane from Saanen, I went with Jemima to the Intelligence Squared debate sponsored by the Evening Standard. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.